Energage – training Community Energy Champions

Creating a network of Community Energy Champions network in Milton Keynes

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the Open University to deliver a pilot project in Milton Keynes that will focus on recruiting and training community members to become volunteer Energy Champions in their neighbourhoods and communities.

The project has been made possible thanks to the funding from the Natural Environment Research Council as part of their recent funding call on ‘Engaging the UK public with the big issues of environmental science’. The Energage project is one of 18 across the UK – click here to find out more about this funding initiative.

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The initiative is the result of successful collaboration and partnership-working between Community Action: MK and the Open University through the MK:Smart and CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy, projects. It is also linked to the work of other local organisations in Milton Keynes that promote the concept of community-owned and sustainable energy. These include Transition MK, Wolverton Community Energy (through Citizens:mk) and others involved in MK Community Energy Alliance and other organisations who already provide energy training such as The National Energy Foundation and Citizens Advice Milton Keynes.

There is already a number of local volunteers who champion sustainable energy and environmental awareness in Milton Keynes, and we want to learn from their experiences. Further, we want to attract new people – anyone with an interest in energy and sustainability, and ways of helping their own communities be more sustainable is welcomed to get involved in the project, and is asked to please get in contact with Community Action: MK.

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Carbon Conversations event run by Transition MK in 2015. Photo credit: Transition MK

The Energage project will develop a network of Community Energy Champions (COMECs) in Milton Keynes. One important part of the COMECs’ role will be to translate energy-based research from the Open University to the general public in a way that will help them find solutions that work to reduce their own carbon footprint. In return Open University researchers will learn better ways to engage the public with their research. This exchange of knowledge will occur through a series of co-creation workshops, facilitated by Community Action: MK.

Another important part of their role will be to grow the network through recruitment of new volunteers. Initial workshops will be followed by a ‘week of action’ in which COMECs will engage with the public. They will share their experiences amongst the community engagement specialists and Open University researchers. This pilot scheme is intended to be the start of longer term engagement between Open University energy researchers and the public.

Energage hope to build upon activities of the existing CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy project at the Open University and lots of other energy-related initiatives across the city. The CAPE project aims to help reduce the carbon footprint of Milton Keynes by engaging the public with relevant data; it will also be linking homeowners identified as a good fit for energy saving measures (e.g. solar panels, loft insulation) with companies that can provide products, or to grant providers, such as the MK Council.

GET INVOLVED

We will be actively promoting the project in the next few weeks and updating you about its further plans. If you are interested in getting involved, please click here to register your interest or contact Anna at Community Action: MK on:

anna@communityactionmk.org

01908 661 623/ 07710 967131

#EnergageMK

www.facebook.com/groups/EnergageMK/

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Funded by:

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13-15 January: Startup Weekend in Milton Keynes

Our colleagues at the Milton Keynes office of Tech Mahindra, who work with us on the MK:Smart and CAPE projects, and support our Employee Volunteering Programme are holding a Startup Weekend in Milton Keynes. The event is being organised as part of the InnovateMK initiative.

Startup Weekend is the world’s starting point for entrepreneurship. It is a 54-hour event where designers, developers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Tech Mahindra are organising the event with aim of fostering local entrepreneurship to strengthen local community.

The participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams are formed around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.

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Date and Time: 6.30pm 13th Jan to 8pm 15th Jan

Venue: InnovateMK, Tech Mahindra, 1st floor, 401 Grafton Gate East, MK9 1AT

Registration and more details:  http://bit.ly/2i4iu2L

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19th Jan 17: The Divide Film Showing

The Divide Film Showing

+ Q&A with Director Katherine Round

 

Community Action: MK are pleased to present a film that explores a major issue faced by society today; the growing divide between rich & poor. This film focuses on this subject in USA and UK, by following the stories of individuals in both countries. Join us for this insightful evening where we will be showing this film, plus other short films related to this topic in the UK. We are also lucky enough to be joined by Director Katherine Round who will be available for Q&A after the show.

Thursday 19th January 2017

6.30pm (to start at 7pm)

Stantonbury Theatre, MK14 6BN

This event is being hosted by many local organisations including Community Action: MK, Transition MK, MK Peace & Justice Network, The People’s Assembly, MK Community Bank, MK Green Party and MK Momentum. Information will be available about local services in Milton Keynes, so will also offer a great chance for networking and sharing.

Buy your tickets now from Stantonbury Box Office, with special reduced price for students, children and concessions. Refreshments will be available to purchase on the night.

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

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The October Bytes Festival at The National Museum of Computing

img_1579During Half Term the MK:Smart (Our MK) team from CA:MK and the OU, went along to The National Museum of Computing for a day delivering activities for the Museums guests. We had a great day meeting lots of people and seeing what the museum has to offer (including trying out the Oculus Rift (Virtual Reality) pictured right).

 

The Our MK team offered families 2 activities:

1. Trying out our Energy Map which is being created as part of the CAPE Project. We asked people to guess the heat loss of some iconic MK buildings and their solar potential and then check out the answers on the map. The map will be coming soon to the public via the CAPE website.

2. An App Design competition, which challenged young people to come up with an app that could solve a city problem. Some of the fantastic entries can be seen below, and we’ll be announcing our winner in the coming week!

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The next Bytes Festival will be held in the Christmas Holidays – find out more on the Museums Website – www.tnmoc.org/bytes.

 

 

 

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Rainbows places available for girls in Woughton Area.

Beanhill Rainbows are currently looking for new girls aged 5-7 for spaces in their group.

As part of the Girlguiding family, Rainbows gives “girls a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities.” Find out more about Girlguiding here.

Register your daughter for Rainbows.

Not aged 5-7? You can also register girls for local Brownies (age 7-10) and Guides (age 10-14) groups at the same link.

Beanhill Rainbows are also seeking a new Volunteer Helper, no previous experience is required and training can be given. If you are interested in volunteering with the group contact Kay Wales – beanhillrainbows@outlook.com.

Communities Volunteering

Funding Alert – May 2015

Welcome to our round-up of funding opportunities for charities and community groups in Milton Keynes. If you would like some free help to develop or find funding for your project, email us or call 01908 661623 to arrange an appointment.


Local News

Voting has opened for the Aviva Community Fund and several projects in Milton Keynes are seeking votes. The Community Fund offers support and funding to inspirational local projects and voting opened on May 1 and closes on May 30.

Among the organisations in Milton Keynes seeking funding are the Joint Civil Aid Corps, which helps build skills in young people, Age UK Milton Keynes for its Keeping Me Connected programme and The Harry’s Rainbow Charitable Trust, to pay for maintenance on a static caravan used for short breaks for bereaved children and their families

Also nominated are Kingdom Power, The East of England Peer Support Service for the Spinal Injuries Association, Dwarf Sports Association south east region, Young Photographers at Slated Row School, Secklow Sounds CIC, Inter-Action MK, Shenley Christian Fellowship Oak Tree Centre and Salford School of Gymnastics trip to Canada.

Organisations securing enough votes will go through to the finals on June 29.

For more information or to vote, visit https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/cms/


AB Charitable Trust

The trust supports charities that defend human rights and promote respect for vulnerable individuals whatever their circumstances. The Trust is particularly interested in charities that work with marginalised and excluded people in society, with a focus on:

  • refugees and asylum seekers
  • prisoners and penal reform
  • human rights

Amount:  £7,500 – £10,000

Deadline: 22nd May 2015

Website


Royal British Legion External Grants

The Legion’s External Grants programme is open to applications. It is for groups supporting serving and ex-service people and their dependants who are suffering financially.

Applications for the following three themes will be prioritised:

  • employment and training
  • family support
  • homelessness and outreach

The typical award is below £20,000 – smaller applications are encouraged. It is a two stage application process.

Amount: up to £20,000 or up to £35,000  for salary for ‘homelessness and outreach’ projects.

Deadline: 25th May 2015.

Website


Vocational Learning Technology Fund

This is run by Ufi Trust for projects that demonstrate the potential for using digital technology imaginative ways to develop new services or improve access or delivery of adult vocational learning.

Amount: Grants up to £50,000 are available.

Deadline: 9am on 15th May 2015

Website


Feminist Review Trust

Supports projects that transform the lives of women. The Trust gives grants to projects in the UK and internationally that support women. In 2015 international applications will be particularly welcome in the following areas:

  • violence against women
  • disabled women and girls
  • women, sustainability and climate change

Amount: up to £15,000

Deadline: 31st May

Website


Funds for Square Dancing

There’s a fund out there for everyone,  if you are interested in square dancing.They are American, but will fund organisations world wide. The Callerlab Foundation supports and trains callers and the All Join Hands Foundation supports square dancing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.


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